UPD gets Narcan to keep campus safe


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To create a safe campus environment, the University Police Department started training to use Narcan, the nasal spray administration of the emergency opioid overdose treatment drug naloxone. Currently, the UPD has not yet had cases of opioid overdose with students.

The University Police Department will introduce the emergency opioid overdose treatment drug naloxone for student safety.

Narcan is the first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone and is used for emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.

Currently, the UPD has not started to use the Narcan nasal spray. Patrick Gipson, UPD lieutenant, shared that the UPD has not had cases of opioid overdose with students so far.

“The times that our department has interacted with someone has not been with students,” said Gipson. “It has been with non-students who come to use the campus facilities.”

Various departments on campus like the University Health Center, Division for Student Affairs and the School of Nursing will be working on a partnership to create a safe environment on campus.

We are just the first step in the process of helping save a life.

— Patrick Gipson

Gipson believes the introduction of the emergency treatment will have a positive impact on the campus environment.

“As the police department of the university, we deal with anything that happens on university grounds whether it is students or not,” explained Gipson. “So, having this available helps us, the members of the community who may have experienced an overdose. I believe it will make us more ready to respond to opioid overdose and it will help our community.”

Police officers have begun training on administering the drug.

Gipson said, “We receive training on when we are and are not supposed to administer it, and the medical professionals who started to train us have told us that administering this substance to someone who might not have experienced an opioid overuse is not going to harm them.”

The Narcan website instructs that the nasal spray should be administered only in cases of emergency and should not take the place of medical care. The patient must be given “emergency medical help right away after giving the first dose of Narcan Nasal Spray.”

Professional medical help will follow the UPD’s first contact.

“We are not the end point of the medical assistance the person is going to get,” said Gipson. “We are just the beginning. We are going to be the first people to arrive, and when we get there, we are going to help until an ambulance gets there to take them to the hospital. So, there will be a lot more going on than just what we do. We are just the first step in the process of helping save a life.”